The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce this year’s winners for the 2021 Annual Banquet celebrating outstanding achievements and excellence in business. Halladay Motors served as the presenting sponsor for this year’s event.
Nominations for business awards were submitted by Chamber members, and the Chamber’s Business Council narrowed down those nominations to the named finalists. The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce focuses on four areas of business and community advancement: economic development, advocacy, community development, and talent development, all focused on making the greater Cheyenne area a more prosperous and quality community.
“We come together to recognize those businesses and individuals who have contributed to the enormous success of our economy and community,” said President and CEO Dale Steenbergen. The awards recognize accomplishments for the previous year and Steenbergen shared that this year’s awards are especially significant given the very challenging times businesses experienced during COVID. “We saw so many in our community step up to assist others and it is one of the reasons we weathered the pandemic so well,” he said. “When you compare the Cheyenne region to so many other communities, we can be proud of what we achieved.”
This year’s theme “Driving Forward” embodied the fact that the Chamber does not let up on the accelerator and continues to forge ahead for the betterment of the region.
The highest honor of the evening is the Business Person of the Year, which was given to Dr. Larry Meuli. The award recognizes excellence in our community and is given to recognize a culmination of dedication to our community, state, and nation. The recipients of the Person of the Year exemplify the best of us and set a standard for community engagement.
Dr. Meuli has spent his life working in medicine. Additionally, he was a very dedicated and diligent public servant. He served as a Wyoming legislator, was the Director at the Department of Health, and was a previous public health officer at the state and county level. His leadership in medicine and government has been recognized around the country, having received the Nathan Davis award in 2004 — the most prestigious award the American Medical Association gives to an elected official.
Further, Dr. Meuli was described as a “game-changer” within the Chamber, helping to build the foundation for the organization’s advocacy and engagement platform. The advocacy transformation has facilitated the Chamber’s evolution into a powerhouse of advocacy and governmental relations work through the Wyoming Business Advocates, a program that was funded and launched through Dr. Meuli’s core work more than a decade ago. Today the Wyoming Business Advocates advocate for programs like the military’s new missile system, front range rail, and more than $1.2 billion of funding flowing into the community. All starting with Dr. Meuli and four other individuals who served on the advocacy steering committee.
The Chamber’s Business Advocate of the Year award was given to Senator John Barrasso. This award is given annually to an elected official or agency employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty for our business community. During the onset of COVID, Dr. Barrasso connected with Cheyenne’s leaders on multiple zoom calls, he called personally to check on local businesses, worked with the Chamber constantly to draft the federal legislation that saved many of the community’s business entities, and he instructed his staff to serve Wyoming’s people and help them through the challenging times they were facing.
In addition, while COVID was ravaging the nation, issues like military funding, transportation funding, and challenges to Wyoming’s energy industry and infrastructure needs still had to be addressed, and Senator Barrasso was a champion for these issues.
The chamber also honored the following individuals for their outstanding performance:
- Chamber Spirit – Mike Williams, Jonah Bank / presented by Tracy Wilson, Century 21 Bell Real Estate
- Community Service – Taco John’s / presented by Robert Trotter, Thrivent Financial
- Emerging Leader – Derrek Jerred, Cheyenne LEADS / presented by Kirsten Malm, First American Title
- Non-Profit – Comea / presented by Kristi Wallin, Laramie County Library Foundation
- Small Business – Black Tooth Brewing Co. / presented by Alexis Garrett, AlexisDrake
- Large Business – MHP, LLP / presented by Stephanie Teubner, Blue Federal Credit Union
- Committee of the Year – Business Resource Team / presented by Scott Fox, Cheyenne Regional Medical Foundation and Military Affairs Committee member
About the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce: The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1907 and is more than 1,000 members strong. Using guiding core competencies, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce demonstrates leadership by being an advocate for business at all levels of government and promoting our community to make this a better place to live, work, and do business. The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is also active in the Wyoming Business & Industry Federation, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Visit cheyennechamber.org for more information. Media Contact: Charlene Murdock Vice President 307-638-3388 firstname.lastname@example.org